Mark and Kevin Systrom just announced video for Instagram. Kevin reminded us that Instagram was founded as a tool to capture and share moments in a fast, simple, and beautiful way. Now the app will allow all 130 million users to not just take photos, but capture video memories, as well.
Here are the highlights of Instagram’s new video functionality:
- It’s available right now for both iOS and Android phones.
- You can take 15 seconds of beautiful video.
- There are 13 new, video-exclusive filters developed by artists that specialize in video editing.
- Users can select a cover frame to complete the Instagram touch.
- New ‘Cinema’ tool provides cinematic stabilization so Blair-Witch-shakiness will never have to happen again.
For some, video will merely be another added feature, but for the dedicated Instagrammers (e.g. foodies and pet lovers), this is a monumental and possibly unwelcomed change. At the heart of it, the charm of Instagram is its seamless simplicity. Users are able to scroll endlessly for a stream of photos that are both bite size and beautiful. Introducing video into this feed is a threat to that continuous flow and passive consumption. Although time will decide how well video will be integrated into the app, Kevin says it will be the “same Instagram we know and love, but now, it moves.”
Rationale for Changing User Experience
Vine, the video-sharing app, is undeniably a rival to Instagram. This is especially true because Twitter and Facebook have been long time competitors in the digital space. With Vine’s recent release of its Android app, it was quickly able to pass Instagram in total daily Twitter shares. Although this can be attributed to the fact that Facebook no longer allows Instagram photos to be embedded into tweets, Facebook cannot ignore that their users are also likely to be part of the Twitter community. Therefore, before Vine can lead with consumers and marketers, Instagram wants to establish themselves as the go-to app for both photo and video sharing.
Instagram Video vs. Vine
Although Instagram’s goal is to outdo Vine, each app actually attracts two very different groups of consumers. Instagram’s content is set out to be aesthetical pleasing and inspirational, while users on Vine want to create funny and disruptive content. Just because Instagram launches a similar feature, does not mean Vine users will hop over and vice versa. After the press conference, it is clear that Instagram does not plan to compete directly with Vine. Instead, they will continue to focus on what the app is known for: producing fast, simple and beautiful content for the world to see.
Great News for Advertisers
Ultimately, Facebook’s goal is to monetize Instagram, and thus far there hasn’t been a straightforward way for brands to advertise their products on the platform. At this point, advertisers are speculating that the video feature will be a way for brands to finally reach the 130 million active users on Instagram. But once again, it is another social platform for advertisers to learn and strategize for. Nonetheless, this opportunity to create short and shareable video content will definitely help brands drive impressions and serve as another touch point with consumers. Things for brands and advertisers to keep in mind? Keep your imagery beautiful and make your message simple and share-worthy. This isn’t Vine after all.